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© Fides

Church Offers Aid to Victims of Cyclone Idai

In Mozambique, 90 Percent of City of Beira was Destroyed

More than ten days since cyclone Idai hit southern Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi still live in extreme emergency conditions, according to an April 1, 2019, report by Fides News Agency.

“The official number of deaths in Mozambique alone,” said Claudio Zuccala, a missionary for years in Mozambique, “has risen to 500. The first reception centers for the homeless give hospitality to 110 thousand people.”

It is estimated that there are more than 800 victims in the three countries, but there are fears that the number of deaths may increase. An exact figure will be obtained only when the water decreases and the bodies are recovered.
The cyclone has left behind a trail of destruction. Most of the damage was suffered in Mozambique, where 90 percent of the city of Beira was destroyed. In many districts of Beira, people are forced to live in the putrid water that surrounds their homes. Many houses do not have a roof and people are exposed to the rain.

“There are fears of cholera and typhoid epidemics (the recorded cases of cholera are already 270),” the missionary continued, ” while acute forms of diarrhea and intestinal pain are already on the agenda. There was also a sharp increase in malaria due to the fact that thousands of people sleep without the protection of their homes and without mosquito nets .”

“In Zimbabwe,” said Anold Moyo, Jesuit of the Silvera House, “the Rusitu valley of Chimanimani was the most affected, where the confluence of the Rusitu and Hanoi rivers is located. Both rivers flooded. The inhabitants of the villages of Nyamatanda in Mozambique report of having seen bodies floating in the water. Hundreds of bodies are abandoned in the streets and thousands are left in the forests.”

The Catholic Church launched campaigns in various Countries in the world to facilitate the donation and delivery of basic necessities (such as those of Italian Caritas and that of the Euro-Mediterranean Jesuit Province). “A lot remains to be done – concludes Father Zuccala – starting with the dozens of light poles and high and medium voltage pylons that have been uprooted by the force of the wind and overflowing rivers. The levels of the Pungwe and Buzi rivers are decreasing but the town of Buzi remains isolated.”

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